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government says they are moved and touched by his resignation and chancellor angela merkel called him one of the most significant religious figures of our time. >> the german president said he supported the surprising decision speaking of the pope's courage and self direction saying he always maintained a special bond with his native country. >> seeing a german succeed pope john paul ii was a victory for our country. in benedick's ministry, they combine high philosophical teaching with a straight forward manner of speaking and humanitarian kindness. chancellor merkel also commented on benedict's decision expressing understanding or his motivations. she praised him as saying that, as pope, he committed himself to interfaith dialogue. >> restrengthen the ties to the eastern orthodox churches. he reached out to jews and muslims. . xvi is and will remain one of the greatest religious figures of our time. >> i cannot imagine this. a pope is elected to serve until the end of his life. it is a decision that will perhaps make room for younger generation to take office. >> for the most part, his m
in a series of missteps from peer steinbrueck, since he was named candidate to challenge angela merkel. >> those remarks lead many to ask if he is the best candidate for the job. this is the comment that so offended the italian president. >> to a certain extent, i am appalled at kid -- that two clowns have one -- won. one is a professional clown who will not be offended by this term, mr. grillo, and the other is definitely a clown with extra testosterone. >> let's get more on this from simon young in our parliamentary studios. how much of a liability is he becoming for his party and his campaign? >> he can become a liability if the voters believe that talk like this is a sign of poor judgment rather than just straight talking. peer steinbrueck has tried to relaunch his campaign after a faltering start last year, when he made comments, suggesting that the pay for the chancellorship should be increased at a time when a lot of public servants are facing pay freezes. the thinking is he might be able to get away with, like this as an opposition politician, but as chancellor if he became cha
wants to replace angela merkel as chancellor in september is in hot water over italy's e -- election. >> he spoke of the near winners as clowns. one of them, beppe grillo, is a comedian, so he might not be that defended -- offended. >> the other is silvio berlusconi. he is a two-time former prime minister. >> the italian president's state visit to germany has been overshadowed by the diplomatic incident created by peer steinbrueck. italy and germany would continue to work together, despite occasional irritations. >tuesday, peer steinbrueck referred to a delete's former prime minister -- to italy's former prime minister as a clown. >> when one talks about things concerning another friendly, allied country, and about the result of a free election, one must be well balanced in his choice of words. >> he would not be drawn into the matter. >> i do not wish to comment. some statements are sufficient in themselves. >> he said italy would soon have a new government, insisting the country is not ungovernable. >> the world health organization says certain cancers are more likely to develop in
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